Walk Free Calls on European Parliament to Take Action on Conflict Minerals

Walk Free Calls on European Parliament to Take Action on Conflict Minerals

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 12:50pm

CAMPAIGN: Conflict Minerals

CONTENT: Article

Walk Free, a movement of 8 million people fighting to end global modern slavery, has initiated a “Call on the European Parliament to take action on conflict minerals” campaign. Although the European Commission has a proposal that supports a European market of responsibly traded minerals, Walk Free and their supporters are concerned that the proposal is not strong enough to help eliminate conflict minerals from companies’ supply chains, “which are sourced in extreme conditions of exploitation, violence, and modern slavery.” Without proper enforcement, the inhumane acts of militants that are being funded by the sale of conflict minerals will remain undisturbed.

The campaign specifically calls for the EU to make sure imported products entering their market are conflict-free:

“I'm calling on you as my representative in the European Parliament to strengthen this proposal by: Introducing legal requirements for companies to identify and eliminate conflict minerals in their supply chain. Ensuring these rules cover companies bringing minerals from these areas into the EU, whether as a raw material or as part of finished products.”

The EU is responsible for about 25% of global trade in Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten, and 15% of gold metals according to a press release from the European Commission. This demonstrates how important it is for the EU to create legislation that enforces companies to have corporate social responsibility with a conflict-free supply chain.

In the United States, conflict minerals regulations under the Dodd Frank Act began in 2012, and this past June, publicly traded companies were required to report on the source of minerals in their supply chain for the very first time. Consolidating and matching known smelters and assessing conflict-free certification status, are just a few of the challenges that companies are faced with during their due diligence processes. To learn more about how companies address supplier provided smelter data and smelter information to meet the requirements of Dodd-Frank 1502, download a copy of Moving Beyond Supplier Provided Information, A Guide to Smelter Verification.

To sign the Walk Free Campaign, you can do so here.